Commercial Driving Laws (CDL)

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If you’re driving a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight over 26,000 pounds (or that transports hazardous materials), you must obtain a commercial drivers license. If you break this rule, you can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed. In addition, when you apply for a commercial driving job, you must give your employer information on all driving jobs you have held for the past 10 years. Keep in mind that all states are connected to one computerized system to share information about CDL drivers. The states will check on drivers' accident records to be sure that drivers do not have more than one CDL. If you’re interested in obtaining or maintaining a commercial driver’s license, each state has its own rules, although all states must conform to a federal law passed in 1986. For example, some of the rules that will apply to you include:

  • You cannot have more than one license.
  • You must notify your employer within 30 days of conviction for any traffic violations (except parking).
  • You must notify your motor vehicle licensing agency within 30 days if you are convicted in any other jurisdiction of any traffic violation (except parking).
  • You must notify your employer within two business days if your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if you are disqualified from driving.

State by state rules and laws are provided below.

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